A FORMER mayor failed to pay his council tax until he was summonsed to court – for the second year in a row.

Lewes district councillor Robbie Robertson has been accused of bringing the council into disrepute.

Councillor Robertson, a former mayor of Peacehaven, was kicked out of the Tory party in February 2017 after a string of embarrassing headlines, following the revelation he had failed to pay his 2015/2016 tax.

He received a court summons over an outstanding bill of £974 and cleared the debt prior to appearing at magistrates court.

At the time Cllr Robertson said paying council tax had been his “lowest priority” and that he was “seeing how the system worked”.

Later he asked why the allowances he received as a councillor could not be directly offset against his council tax.

He received a formal reprimand last February from the Lewes District Council standards committee.

But The Argus can today reveal that Councillor Robertson also failed to pay his following year’s council tax until he received a court summons.

He received at least one reminder letter, warning him his council tax was overdue, and then a court summons after the debt of £764 remained unpaid. He cleared the debt on December 5, prior to the scheduled court date.

Cllr Robertson, who now sits as an Independent, was earlier this month elected to the deputy leadership of the six-strong Independent group on the council, which has no overall control following the defections of two Conservatives to the Independents last month.

Council leader Andy Smith said: “It’s very difficult and disruptive to have a member who is not paying council tax.

“I’m hoping the group in the district council deal with this matter robustly as it does bring our council into disrepute.”

Independent group leader Councillor Stephen Catlin: “He has not done any of this while he was an Independent.

“Should he, I think it’s fair to say his position would be reviewed.”

Councillor Robertson, who works as the chauffeur for the mayor of Brighton and Hove, has not replied to The Argus’s requests for comment.